The old Belgrave Village is on the Loughborough Road, to the west of the A46, known at that point as 'Melton Road'.
Belgrave is bounded by the suburb of Rushey Mead to the north, the county village of Birstall to the north-west, Humberstone & Hamilton to the north-east, Latimer to the south, Charnwood to the east, Highfields to the south-east, Abbey to the west and The City Centre to the east and south-west. It is located immediately north of the centre of Leicester, in the eastern part of the city. The old village part of Belgrave is close to the county border, which is located on the other side of the Red Hill Roundabout.
The settlement was named in the Domesday Book as Merdegrave (from Old English mearð 'marten' + grāf 'grove'). However, after the Norman Conquest the first part of the name merde was taken to be Old French 'dung' or 'shit', hence the people changed it to Old French beu, bel 'fair', 'lovely', in order to remove that unpleasant association.
One of the earliest mentions of this place is in the Domesday book where it is listed amongst the lands given to Hugh de Grandmesnil by the King. The land consisted of a mill, 24 acres (97,000 m2) of meadow and land for 6 ploughs.
The name was used for the large 19th-century terraced developments along the A46 (Belgrave Road and then Melton Road). This area now has a large, vibrant Asian community featuring The "Golden Mile", a stretch of road a mile long named that due to its particularly high concentration of jewellery shops. The Asian community based in and around Belgrave road have been residents since the early-1970s.
The area, since the 1970s, has had a large Asian population, and is now predominately Asian.
There are many primary schools in Belgrave, those being Belgrave St Peters Church of England Primary, Mellor Community Primary, Catherine Infants and Catherine Juniors, St Patrick's Catholic Primary and Abbey Primary. Rushey Mead Primary and Wyvern Primary are both located near to Belgrave in the neighbouring area of Rushey Mead and are attended by many schoolchildren from Belgrave. Also located nearby are Rushey Mead Academy, which is the best state-funded secondary school in Leicester and Leicestershire and Soar Valley College. Leicester College’s Abbey Park Campus, to the north of Belgrave on the outskirts of the City Centre is a very busy college serving students from all across Leicester.
Places of Interest
The Belgrave Conservation Area, which includes a church dating back to the twelfth century and Belgrave Hall, a seventeenth century victorian mansion occupied by many families in the past including the prominent Ellis’. Formerly a museum and now a wedding venue, it is open to the public at certain times of the year for events centering around its large and well kept gardens. Belgrave Hall is also well known throughout the world for its paranormal activity, featuring on Most Haunted in 2003 and on other TV programmes. It made international news when two ghostly and unexplained figures appeared on CCTV at the back of the house, disappearing after a few seconds. Paranormal investigators from America visited the hall and conducted an investigation, which was recorded and is available on DVD.
The Golden Mile, a mile long stretch of road named Belgrave Road that includes many Asian jewellery, food and saree shops. This road is at the centre of annual Diwali celebrations in the city, having rows of lights that are switched on in front of thousands of visitors each year.
The Number 21 First service travels from the City Centre via the St Matthews estate onto Catherine Street and then onto Charnwood before eventually reaching its terminus in the nearby county village of Thurmaston.
The nearest bus stations, both located in the City Centre, are The Haymarket Bus Station, where buses to or from Belgrave start and terminate at and St Margaret’s Bus Station, which is mostly used for trips.
The nearest Train Station is Leicester Railway Station, located in the City Centre, 2.2 miles away from Belgrave.
Former Councillors for Belgrave include Archibald Berridge and Ramnik Kavia, both of whom served as Lord Mayors of Leicester, and Colin Hall, the city's Lord Mayor from 2010-11 and a resident of the area since 1968.
- Leicester City Council. "Ward Maps". Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Domesday Book: A Complete Transliteration. London: Penguin, 2003. p. 653 ISBN 0-14-143994-7
- Leicester Council Conservation areas[permanent dead link]
- Pacific Islanders in Belgrave
- [http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/leicester/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_9290000/9290940.stm Belgrave's first saree shop from BBC Radio Leicester
- grid reference